Chivalry used to refer to the medieval ideals of knightly virtues, courtly love and honour. These days, the term usually refers to the courteous behaviour of men towards women.

While the concept of chivalry has been criticised in recent decades for its potential to expose or amplify inequalities between men and women, chivalrous behaviour still survives in dating rituals throughout the country. However, their numbers continue to dwindle as men are struggling when it comes to chivalry in modern times.

A recent study has laid out the statistics on the number of chivalrous men in today's modern society:

Despite 78% of women saying they would love to receive a romantic letter or poem, only half of men (50%) have penned either, the study found.

Most women claim they would treasure a love letter, or poem, for the time and effort spent writing it, which is perhaps why 6% of men confessed to passing off existing romantic poetry as their own in order to impress the fair sex.

While the passionately composed love lyric was an important feature of wooing in olden times, today's men are more inclined to use their mobiles to dash off a text (21%) or an emailed message (11%) to their loved one, according to the Lindt Lindor Code of Modern Chivalry report.

The study found that while the majority of women are regular users of Facebook and Twitter, 56% would feel disappointed to receive a wall message or tweet instead of a traditional greetings card this coming Valentine's weekend.

The study found that 62% of women would like to be complimented on their appearance, while a third (33%) appreciate a partner with good eye contact, regarding this as a sign of devotion.

So what must a man do in order to increase his odds of coming off as chivalrous? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
  • If taking one's loved one for dinner, pick up the bill - a third of women (32%) admit they do not expect to 'go Dutch' on Valentine's Day.
  • Focus on the lady one is with - wandering eyes are a major cause of offence for eight in 10 (80%) women.
  • Switch off the phone and Blackberry, or even better, leave them at home. Interrupting the evening with a phone call, text or email would almost unanimously irritate women (98%).

Still think we're pulling your leg? Then maybe you can contemplate on what relationship expert Jenni Trent Hughes has to say about the topic:

"We may no longer be knights in shining armour or damsels in distress, but we still want and need romance - it is part of our emotional DNA.

"The beauty of romance in the 21st century is that it is a blank slate.

"Forget about everyone else and make Valentine's Day work for you and the object of your affection."

[The Independent]